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Stoner unstoppable for home Australian win

17 October 2010

Casey Stoner will never be beaten as a Ducati rider at his home Australian Grand Prix, after taking his fourth Phillip Island win in a row on Sunday.

The #27, moving to Honda next year, never gave the opposition a chance as he bolted from pole to a two-second lead after just two laps.

Newly crowned world champion Jorge Lorenzo tried to provide some opposition, but Stoner always had pace in hand and went on to claim his third win of the year by a huge 8.598sec from the Fiat Yamaha rider.

The fight for third was much more lively, with Ben Spies, Nicky Hayden, Marco Simoncelli and Valentino Rossi trading places in the early stages.

Outgoing world champion Valentino Rossi, starting from his worst grid position (eighth) since 2008, didn't get the start he had hoped for and was back in ninth at the end of lap 1.

The Italian - on the podium at Phillip Island every year since 1998, including five victories in a row from 2001-2005 - then climbed up the order to catch the pack fighting for third.

Rossi wasted no time in cutting through the trio ahead of him, making shoulder contact with 2011 Ducati team-mate Hayden in the process, to reach third place by lap 8 of 27.

But Stoner and Lorenzo were long gone and Rossi instead had his hands full defending against Hayden, who was the only rider able to stick with Rossi.

The 2006 world champion outbraked the #46 to snatch third back at the Honda hairpin on lap 25, but Rossi typically clung with him and launched a block pass at the same turn to lever his M1 inside Hayden on the very final lap.

Fiat Yamaha has now won the 2010 Teams' title to add to the Riders' crown and are 39 points clear of Honda in the Constructors' standings.

Starting from the outside of the front row, Spies had briefly held second place through turn one, but lost ground after Lorenzo cut across his nose into the following left hander.

Riding at a track he made his victorious WSBK debut at in 2009, Spies spent most of the race fighting fellow rookie Marco Simoncelli for fifth position, which Spies finally took from the Gresini Honda rider with five laps to go.

Spies, who has taken two podiums this year for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, has now wrapped up the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year title. Team-mate Colin Edwards was seventh, as Pramac Ducati's Aleix Espargaro, Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri and Honda LCR's Randy de Puniet completed the top ten.

Mika Kallio, riding in what looks to be his last MotoGP event before being replaced by Carlos Checa for the last two rounds, was eleventh. Alvaro Bautista took twelfth at what is traditionally Suzuki's worst circuit.

No Repsol Honda rider finished the race as Andrea Dovizioso, having dropped to last place, pitted and then retired with some kind of technical problem.

Team-mate and former 2010 title contender Dani Pedrosa withdrew from the race due to a lack of strength from the collarbone he fractured in Japan on October 1.

Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi was also absent after straining the Adductor muscle at the top of his left thigh when he crashed on Saturday.

Australia was the last of three flyaway events, in three consecutive weekends. The next round, the penultimate event of the year, will be held at Estoril, Portugal, on October 31.

Australian Grand Prix:

1. Stoner
2. Lorenzo
3. Rossi
4. Hayden
5. Spies
6. Simoncelli
7. Edwards
8. Espargaro
9. Melandri
10. de Puniet
11. Kallio
12. Bautista
13. Aoyama
14. Barbera


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